US warship leaves Iran's drill area after warning
Iran Press TV
Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:55PM
A US warship was forced to leave the area used by Iranian forces for military exercise in the Persian Gulf waters after the vessel reportedly approached the area to "know of the Iranian military tactics," Iran's Navy commander said Wednesday.
"As we anticipated that the Americans may approach the drill zone to learn about our tactics, we warned them once by maritime patrol aircraft and again by the Alborz destroyer," said Admiral Habibollah Sayyari in an interview with Fars News Agency.
The Iranian commander said the US warship "accordingly left the area," adding that the vessel was accompanied by patrol aircraft when it was approaching the drill zone.
The communication between Iranian and US forces was the first since 10 US sailors were captured by naval forces of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) earlier this month. The sailors were shortly released after admitting that they wrongly drifted into Iranian territorial waters.
The ongoing "Velayat 94" drills are the biggest annual military exercises by Iran's Navy, which assesses all its tactics and combat routines through the maneuvers.
Sayyari announced early on Wednesday the launch of the tactical stage of the drills, during which the marines were planned to simulate the interception of invaders while on board surface vessels and submarines across a large expanse of territorial and international waters covering parts of the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Indian Ocean south of Iran.
"The drills are aimed at showing to the people of the entire world the Islamic Republic of Iran's competence and authority in establishing security and defending the country's maritime borders across seas, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the Sea of Oman, and northern Indian Ocean," Sayyari had said earlier.
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